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  • "It felt like Tete brought those sheets from the Old Country."

    "I don't give a shit! Your aunt is an asshole!"

    "Remember that time you almost burned down the furniture store?"

    I spent today on an inner city, cigarette smoke-filled patio, crammed in with ten crazy Syrians on a rickety picnic table with peeling maroon paint: Uncle Doug, the tattooed motorcycle enthusiast (who's buddies with the keyboardist of Guns 'N' Roses) and his blonde biker wife Misty (whose African Gray parrot perched on her inked shoulder the whole time); Uncle Glenn (last fourth of July, he and my dad spent fifteen minutes trying to throw lobster eyeballs into each other's pockets); Aunt Debbie-Bear (a good six inches shorter than my 5'6" and belligerent - in an endearing way); the pseudo-glamorous Aunt Nancy; my 70-something-year-old, chain smoking, swears-like-a-sailor Nana; and my parents, little sister, and I celebrated Mother's Day.

    Everyone's swearing, reminiscing about childhood misadventures and growing up with six siblings and one tiny bathroom, reliving old Stooges episodes and ragging on our Middle Eastern ethnicity, the parrot is shrieking, two dogs are getting tangled in feet and legs, projectiles are whistling through the air, and you can't inhale without choking on second hand smoke.

    I love the atmosphere in that tiny, sparse backyard.
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